10 Jul 2012

Catching Rockets: Music Review

I have posted reviews on bands from Manchester and London so far and I thought I should write one about a local band from Milton Keynes - but my (unwritten) rules are that they must follow me on Twitter to get my attention and sadly none from MK have.


...there is a band called Catching Rockets from a town about 30 minutes away from here (Nothampton) So I decided to check out what they have to offer. **EDIT: ust discovered that they rehears in MK, so I am gonna claim them as my local band :P - hope they don't mine!**

Firstly, what I found out about them...

Originally a 2 piece, they are now a 3 piece stomp acoustic band made up of Steve Marshall, Jack Frankland and Sam Richardson. Their debut EP was released in April 2012 and its called 'for then, now and future reference'. If like me, you just read 'stomp acoustic' and thought, huh?! Well, there is no simple definition but I am interpreting it as acoustic music with a constant heavy beat throughout, as if you were stomping. If you want to give stomping a try yourself then you can make your own stomp box! If its good enough for John Lee Hooker then its good enough for me.

But back to the review, the band have also said that their influences are:

-  Frank Turner
-  The Clash
-  Mumford & Sons
- Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Who do they remind me of? hmmm...

This is actually trickier than you would think, and maybe that's why the reviews I found didn't compare them to anyone but described their EP as as 'a heart warming collection of "ye olde" fiddles and acoustic harmonies' by Bedge and by Sean at New Music Release as 'A bit of a tradition English ditty feel, and a whole lot of acoustic passion'. No-one springs to my mind at this moment, but I will keep an ear out. So lets check out a some tracks by their inspirations listed above. I have picked the ones that I think remind me of Catching Rockets.

I thought Frank Turners' 'Sally' was a pretty obvious influence but could I find it online anywhere?! So I have gone with my second choice of The Road.

Frank Turner - The Road

The Clash - Career Opportunities

Mumford and Sons - The Cave

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - War of the Worlds

These are great inspirations to have especially as I already love The Clash and Frank Turner, a combination of the bands mentioned above has got to be a good thing right? It is in the form of...

Catching Rockets!

**no band photo available - wait for the gig review!**

The first track on the EP and perfectly placed, it should definitely be the first you hear, if not least because of the stomp acoustic description. This very much helps you to understand what they mean. although I didn't find it too stompy. The intro has them laughing (which I always like, I can't help it, I'm a laugher!.) 

Did she trip?

Dark, Dark, Sons is one of my favourite tracks from the EP, if not for the phrases 'get us to the motorway' and 'don't follow people, just follow words', with a gentle start and soft vocals it goes into an echo-like segment, then it comes back with the lyrics and they harmonize with echo backing vocals. It reminds me of singing in a round, do you remember ging gang gooly? Where you sang in a round and then one of you would sing push bike, push bike, push bike repeatedly whilst it was sang again. You do? Well, this is 10 times better than that :) It is also similar to The Futureheads 'Beeswing'.

Dark, Dark, Sons

The third track on the EP, I Ran Miles, reminds me of that time when you have left school and the world seems so much bigger and you are a very small fish in a very large ocean. A common theme I think for a lot of people is leaving the town where they grew up, as they somehow feel betrayed by it and held back. This is  a question that I am going to ask the band about so be sure to check out the interview below.

I Ran Miles

The Uke Song is ingeniously named...well, someone is playing a Uke on it :) Another favourite as I do enjoy the faster tempo songs and the chatter at the end and YES more laughing :).

Uke Song

On the bands MySpace page it shows the music genres that they have said they fall into, indie rock, acoustic and punk. This is most likely taken from their inspirations but I haven't really felt like I have heard much punk yet from them. The last track on the EP 'Home for Halloween' is one that I was expecting to be more punky - based purely on the name - but it is the slowest of the songs. It is (I think) the closest thing to a love song that you will find on this EP. I really enjoyed the vocals on this song, strong and emotive. The singer has a very rock/punk sound to his voice and you can hear that in this track, the only thing I would say is that it is pretty long at 5mins5sec and the intro does seem to drag, but have a listen for yourself and see if you agree.

Home for Halloween

I look forward to hearing what else they have to offer as I think this band have a lot more to come. They also kindly agreed to answer some questions for me!


Ok, so my first question is pretty obvious - How did you all get together? I read somewhere that you were originally a 2-piece when did that all change?
We all met at school and bonded over our love of punk rock really,after a stint of being a punk band we then went our separate ways until I (Steve Marshall) and Jack (Frankland) decided on writing and home recording more songs together just for our own amusement, of course it wasnt long till we wondered if others liked our music, so we put it out and received a great and unexpected responce from it. We decided Catching Rockets was well worth taking further and having fun with, so our old friend Sam (Richardson) joined us and now what was once a meer project has grown into Catching Rockets. Our band.

Where did the name Catching Rockets come from?
I am currently serving with the British army and the name Catching Rockets came from a night spent in Iraq being shelled by mortar rounds, to us it is also a nice metaphor for achieving the impossible. We like that.

One of my favourite tracks off the EP is 'I Ran Miles', can you tell me what this song is about?
"I ran miles" is basically about having the guts to leave your home town and start experiencing new and better things, saying no to becoming stuck in a rut and yes to being spontaneous. It also has a message of no matter how bad things get there is always that genuine option of leaving and starting anew.

What is your favourite song to perform live?
"Did she trip" is a fun song as its fun to play for all of us, but also its got a very stompy and shout along feel, so the guys watching us can get involved with our music straight away. When the crowd start shouting the chorus with us "take me up somewhere significant" it feels special.

What has been the worst gig you have played so far?
Every gig we play we play with all emotion and love for what we do on show, we always enjoy our gigs even if its playing to ourselves so its hard to pick a worst gig....... gigs where the crowd are cut off from us sucks,we like being close and getting everyone involved.

Who are your musical heroes?
Too many to list but Justin Vernon from Bon Iver is a huge inspiration to us, showing so much passion for each song he plays really is something to be admired. The Clash also as music simply would not be the way it is today without them.

I am always curious as to which song bands would cover if they went on the radio show 'Live Lounge'...so, which song would you like to cover in that situation?
We have recently done a cover of Jamie T's If you got the money, so i would say that would be the one at the moment, weve added our own feel to the song, we also just respect what Jamie T is all about and think hes a bloody nice bloke. Also keep an eye our youtube channel for our version of it. "Barbie girl" by aqua a close second as sam looks just like ken the doll anyway.

Finally, What is next for you for the rest of the year? 
Promoting ourselves to get the word out about what we do really, lots of shows,lots more new material and hopefully a lot more fun times for us and for the people who come and watch our gigs. We may also be lucky enough to start work with a independent record label soon so fingers crossed for that. But mainly putting more of our noise into peoples ears.


As with most bands, you get a better idea when you see them live - as they are relatively local I will be going to see them next time they play.  Keep an eye out for the gig review. If you like what you hear check out some of the links below and share this blog post.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchingrockets
Twitter: @CatchingRockets
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/catchingrockets
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/catching-rockets
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/catchingrockets



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